Miklós Rózsa

Valley of the Kings [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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The Valley of the Kings is the latest exhumation from the MGM vaults of one of Miklos Rosa's scores, this time from the 1954 movie of that name -- it is not one of Rosa's more inventive scores, alas, being mostly a rather conventional (if melodic) Middle Eastern-flavored body of music. Some of the material, such as "Hamed/Carriage Race," recalls the composer's score for The Thief of Baghdad, and the material is never less than listenable -- Rosa's subtle interweaving of rich melodies and timbres, coupled with his carefully balanced orchestrations, make this an intensely emotional listening experience as the music tugs on us. What's more, both this score and the music from the 1954 Korean War feature Men of the Fighting Lady (also scored by Rosa) appear here in full stereo mixes that only add to the rich timbral effects and sonic textures. Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall's annotation spends a little too much time trying to equate Valley of the Kings with the Indiana Jones movies, which comes off as plain silly, but the musical descriptions are valid. As an additional bonus, a thematically-related Rosa soundtrack excerpt from the MGM version of King Solomon's Mines is also included.

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